Labour Relations in Context (LRC)


LRC is an international network of academics interested in studying and discussing the role of trade unions in the context of political, economic, and societal change. The network takes account of the most recent developments of democratic capitalism and seeks to identify the room for manoeuvre available to trade unions under conditions of post-democratic processes, of globalization, and of forms of new economic governance triggered by the financial crisis.

LRC is innovative in at least two respects. Firstly, it goes beyond the consideration of the core business of trade unions - the defence and representation of workers' interests in labour markets - thus including questions related to processes of political and societal change such as the role of unions in institutions of political governance, their position in policy networks, commissions and committees, their relation to social and protest movements as well as to marginalized parts of the population, to precariously employed and labour market outsiders. LRC, in brief, seeks to answer the question as to whether trade unions should and could assume the role of guardians of the general interest under conditions of gradual and progressive violation to the social contract characteristic of the latter part of past century. Secondly, LRC seeks to establish an inter-disciplinary debate among scholars of various fields of the social sciences by bringing together academics and experts from a wide number of countries of the European Union and beyond. Network activities include a number of workshops dealing with specific themes related to the above developments.

LRC Steering Committee 

Ingrid Artus, Professor, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg
Donatella Della Porta, Professor, European University Institute, Florence
Colin Crouch, Emeritus Professor, Warwick Business School
Roland Czada, Professor, University of Osnabrück
Heiner Dribbusch, Senior Research Fellow, WSI, Düsseldorf
Anke Hassel, Professor, Hertie School of Governance, Berlin
Richard Hyman, Emeritus Professor, LSE, London
Britta Rehder, Professor, University of Bochum
Thorsten Schulten, Senior Research Fellow, WSI, Düsseldorf


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